Skin and Hair
This site is provided for informational
purposes only. The information here is not intended to diagnose
or treat any condition, and should not replace the care and attention
of qualified medical personnel. Use the information on these pages
at your own risk, and, as with any information pertaining to health,
nutrition, mental health, or fitness, consult your physician before making any
changes that might affect your overall health.
Packaging Problems at High Altitude
notice some oddities in product packages if you live long
at high altitude, and if you operate a business here, you'll
really need to know how to avoid problems.
of potato chips are frequently swollen almost to the bursting
point. Carry them up another couple thousand feet, and you
might face a rain of chips!
better, yogurt cups in the grocery store often have swollen
seals on them. When you open them, you are rewarded with a
splat of yogurt from the plastic seal, which usually hits
you in the face if you are watching to see when it goes! NesQuik
containers also invariably have lids that refuse to stay on
because the inner seal is so distended. People have stopped
me in the grocery store to point to containers of yogurt and
cottage cheese which had seals that were so puffed that the
lids had popped off. I assured them that this was perfectly
normal, and it is, up here!
usually does not present much of a problem, but if you buy
things at 6000 ft, and they are already in packaging that
is stressed, you might want to reconsider before carrying
them up to 10,000 ft! Somewhere along the way, your backpack
might have an accident!
items that are tightly sealed will have this problem. Check
in the Electronics page for information on how altitude affects
printer cartridges. Most of the time, the problems are not
harmful, merely amusing, occasionally annoying.
you choose to operate a business up here though, you might
want to consider the pressure at which items are packaged.
Going from high altitude to low is usually less of a problem
than the other way around, as you do not have the potential
problem of an item exploding due to excess pressure. Rather,
it will simply collapse or indent. Not so nice for sales presentation,
but in no way damaging to packaged items.
if you operate a factory at sea level, and intend to distribute
the item at higher altitudes, a test or two on your packages
at low pressure might be wise. Nobody really complains much
if they tote a bag of chips up a hill and it pops in their
pack. But if that happened to something liquid, or any other
messy substances, your customers might be ticked off!
you travel, and find towns in the mountains where all the
packages in the store have puffed tops, just know that it
is normal, and be careful how you handle them to avoid spillage
if the top should pop.
Editorial Comments throughout this site written by Laura Wheeler (with occasional sarcastic remarks by her son, David). Laura is a 10 year resident of Medicine Bow, Wyoming, where the altitude is greater than the population. Medicine Bow is at 6200+ ft above sea level, and boasts a total of 297 residents from the last census. Laura is an experienced technical, health and family writer.